October 27, 2009

Bennett picks up impressive Big XII offer

Bryon Bennett was having enough trouble determining a pecking order for his college options before last weekend. Then, a Big XII juggernaut entered the fray and complicated the decision even more.

The three-star Madison (Central), Miss., defensive tackle added another big name to his offer sheet, when Oklahoma sent a formal offer his way last Friday. The Sooners have recruited Bennett (6-foot-2, 250) for a while and are now hovering at or near the top of his list of favorites.

"They're up there, I mean really up there," Bennett said. "It just feels good and is exciting to have a program like Oklahoma offer you. They always compete for championships, and I like the color red they wear. We're working out the date, but I'm going to get up there soon and check it out."

Oklahoma joins Ole Miss, Texas Tech and Syracuse as the leaders for the nation's No. 29 defensive tackle. Bennett is ranked 11th overall in Mississippi. Alabama, Arkansas, Baylor, Kentucky, Michigan State, Mississippi State and Southern Miss have also offered.

Bennett had a busy and important day this past Saturday, as took the ACT in the morning and traveled to Starkville that night for Florida's 29-19 win over Mississippi State. The Bulldogs performed well and appeared to receive some bad luck in the officiating department, but MSU's Yeoman's effort didn't elevate the Bulldogs with Bennett.

"Their defense got to (Florida quarterback Tim) Tebow several times, but he was able to escape and still do some things. They had the big interceptions, but overall, I don't know… it was a fun game."

It is MSU's rival that defeated Arkansas Saturday and has seemingly cemented a firm spot in Bennett's decision-making process.

"I've been high on Ole Miss for a long time," Bennett said. "If I stay in-state, that's where I'll go. They've gotten it straightened out and are playing well. The defense flies around."

Bennett believes Oklahoma's admission requirements could be higher than some of his other options. His current high on the ACT is a 17, and while academics aren't an issue at this point, they're something to keep an eye on.

"I think Oklahoma makes you have a higher GPA or something, I'll get all that down soon," Bennett said. "It's an exciting time with several great options. I'm ready to take my visits and go from there."


Madison Central (9-0) wraps up the regular season the next two weeks against Northwest Rankin and Greenville before starting its pursuit for a 6A state title. The Jaguars are undefeated and ranked No. 1 in the state, having beaten all but two opponents by three possessions.

With Bennett and four-star prospect Carlton Martin anchoring the defensive line, Bennett feels the Jaguars are undeniably the team to beat.

"There are some other good teams that do things well, but we match-up with everyone because of our defensive line. Getting pressure and stopping the run are the keys. We're excited and anxious."

The Jaguars fell in the North Half final last season to South Panola.

"You can't help but want to see them again," Bennett said.

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